Home Buying in West Windsor>Question Details

Michelle, Both Buyer and Seller in 08844

Differences between West Windsor, Plainsboro, & East Windsor?

Asked by Michelle, 08844 Wed Jun 25, 2008

Plainsboro area has excellent schools and may be a good relocation option for us. I see lots of gorgeous homes in East Windsor and Im wondering what the difference is? Are the taxes higher in East Windsor or does it have worse schools?

Thanks!
Michelle

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Answers

11
Hi Michelle,
I am not a realtor, so I have no vested interest in steering you in any direction. I took a new position with my employer, bringing me to NYC 7 years ago.
After studying MANY communities, we settled on West Windsor. The schools were a primary factor, along with proximity to a great train station (Princeton Jct) with express trains into the city every 15 minutes and great shopping options nearby, despite the almost rural suburb setting.
Relative to schools, I have three kids. My oldest just graduated HS, and my youngest is now starting Middle School. This means that over the last seven years, we have had experienced four schools Hawk (K-3), Village (4,5), Grover (6-8), and South (9-12). My wife and I have been thrilled by the quality of all the schools. Class sizes ~20, teachers are great, students are motivated, and they have an excellent orchestra program starting in the 4th grade. They also offer a great diversity of courses that allow those inclined to really push themselves. We are so impressed that we feel obligated to stay in WW until our youngest gets through HS. I don't know of any parent in the district that feels differently. I suggest that you study some of the school comparisons that are published annually. These will provide some quantitative support for the relative quality of schools.
Also, you should know that Plainsboro and West Windsor share the school district, and zoning is such that they maintain a good balance of WW and Plainsboro kids in each school. The quality of all schools is also equitable across the two HS's as well as the various Middle Schools and Elementary schools in the district.

Relative to the difference between WW and Plainsboro, they are fairly similar. However, I believe Plainsboro may have a higher proportion of smaller SFH's and townhomes than WW, which tends to have larger homes on 3/4 acre lots.

I hope this helps. Good Luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 21, 2010
I am a local realtor and would be happy to help in your home search for West Windsor, Plainsboro, East Windsor and neighboring areas.
I can be directly reached at 609-606-5077.

Best,
Sweta
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 8, 2013
Here are a couple of reports. WW is typically in top10% of state schools in most rankings.

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/schoolranks.html

http://njmonthly.com/articles/towns_and_schools/highschoolra…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 21, 2010
Michelle, I understand your desire to buy. BUt with properties dropping about 1% per month I urge you to take your time. Many Montgomery homes have been and are being reduced considerably. I live in Princeton but also own and lived in Hopewell and have family ties to Montgomery and West Windsor going back to when West Windsor was nothing but farms. (my uncle rode his horse to work in Princeton)
Congratulations on selling your Hillsboro home. If you are happy with how the agent (assuming you used one) worked for you, give them your loyalty and trust. If you were less than thrilled shoot me an email or call. I routinely sell in all these markets (currently have contracts in West windsor, Princeton, Hopewell and closed last month in Montgomery)
Ken
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
School distric comparing is the 21st century equivalent of Red Lining. West Windsor School districts are way over crowded you have 45-50 kids in a class and the teachers are mediocre at best. The only reason the kids do well is because the parents push the kids to the extreme. They shell out thousands of dollars for tutors. All the teachers are graduates of TCNJ, Rider, or University of Delaware. They leave right after class lets out and by 3:30 pm they are all out the bars. Public schools in Mercer County will be unusable in 10 years. Better start saving for 40k per year for Peddie or Lawrenville Prep.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
Hi Michelle,

West Windsor Plainsboro are my niche areas & all of the homes I've sold since September 2007 ( 99% working with buyers) are in WWP.........the client testimonials ( more recent ones) are from my clients who bought in this area.
This means, that I could provide you with a "hands on" knowledge of current inventory ( types of homes available in different communities) , price points & what to look for & what to watch out for.

If you're ready to move forward with your search & work in a consultative manner with a buyer's agent , please feel free to email or call me to decide if I could provide you with the level of representation necessary in this market.
Regards,
Shalu
Web Reference: http://www.SoldByShalu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 28, 2008
We've actually already sold our HIllsborough home and want to buy something. Our sole purpose to selling our house was to move to Montgomery for the schools. My son is in the Gifted & Talented program here and we have been very unhappy with the school system - there is no classroom enrichment available like there is in Montgomery. I just learned that West Windsor and Plainsboro are comparable which is why we are considering them. We definitely want a school system that is more challenging and competitive than what we have in Hillsborough and it will still be less expensive to move than to send both of our children to private school.

My husband drives into the city, he's in sales and never takes trains so that is not an issue for us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
Michelle,
I suggest you visit the schools of all areas you are considering since this is a major factor. Hillsborough schools while not top ranked are good. I served on the Hopewell Valley school board and can say that you as parents will make the biggest difference in how well your children do in and out of school. For the commute to NYC, parking at the station will likely be a problem. As the market has dropped and continues this you may want look into renting either Montgomery or West Windsor (consider Princetons and Hopewell too for that matter) and sell your Hillsboro home now. After renting you may find you love or hate the change and will have invested far less.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
Thank you both. We were looking to move out of Hillsborough to Montgomery for the schools. My husband works in NYC so he didn't want to go further than Montgomery, but I didn't realize West Windsor or Plainsboro would be a good choice as well. The problem in Montgomery is that there is just nothing available now that compares to our home in Hillsborough under $700k. We could buy a bigger nicer home in HIllsborough, but we are making this move solely for the schools so I think we'll look into West Windsor as well.

Thanks!
Michelle
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
Hi Michelle,

East Windsor's tax rate is significantly higher than Plainsboro West Windsor --East Windsor property taxes for a $350k home avg to around $8000
However there are newer single family homes & townhomes in an affordable price range.

West Windsor has a tax rate of 1.9 & Plainsboro 2.1........both were reassessed in 2005 & 2006 & listing prices & sale prices have come down 8-10 % since last year, making it affordable for first time buyers in the area.
Values have held up well despite the downtrend & the proximity to the Princeton Junction train station & the schools ( in NJ magazine's Top 10 list) are the factors.
Having said that WWP is not 'the best' .......the are in the Top 10 though for the last few years.

You could review schools at http://www.GreatSchools.net

Montgomery & Hopewell ...both offer better choices than East Windsor ( IMHO) , depending on your flexibility & commute options.
Montgomery offers excellent schools, proximity to Princeton, reasonable taxes & has both options--newer single family & townhomes with basements ( some finished)
Hopewell has some beautiful single family new(er) and townhomes --lots of nice features & probably the most affordable for the features & age range offered.


Here are links that may hlep
http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/index.html?lpt/taxr…
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2007/snapshot…

Please email or call if you wanted to discuss available options based on your lifestyle requirements & priority list.
I have been working with buyers for the last year or so, quite consistently & have a hands on understanding of inventory, price points & features based on these different areas & communities, and would be happy to share with you any aspect that helps you find the most suitable area & home.
Regards,
Shalu
Web Reference: http://www.SoldByShalu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
Michelle,
Yes West Windsor Plainsboro schools are typically among the best in the state. (I never heard that claim for East Windsor) Taxes are high everywhere in NJ. The most expensive homes in East Windsor are typically far less than West Windsor and Plainsboro's. The West Windsor schools are very competitive so look at your childrens ability to be in a very large district with many very bright children. If you would like a free relocation package covering the area feel free to email me.

Kenneth"Ken" Verbeyst CRS GRI ABR SRES
Broker-Associate
Prudential NJ Properties
Princeton NJ
LIcensed NJ&PA and relocation certified
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
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